Afrocentric Voices RadioRandye Jones

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About the Station

Historic and contemporary African American singers and composers of Classical vocal music

About Randye Jones

Greetings!! My name is Randye Jones, and I welcome you to Afrocentric Voices Radio.

This station is an off-shoot of my Web site, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music. The site focuses on African American performers and composers and on the vocal music forms they influenced, especially opera, art songs and Negro spirituals composed for concert performance. There are biographies, bibliographies, a chronology, and other information about this music and these musicians.

Station Philosophy

I wanted Afrocentric Voices to not only play famous singers performing standard works, but to go off the beaten path and bring forth recordings by early--but lesser-known--pioneers and what I think of as "Future Voices". So, you can hear works like Marian Anderson's 1955 Metropolitan Opera performance from Un ballo in maschera and George Walker's 1996 Pulitzer Prize winning Lilacs, both representing significant firsts in American musical history.

You will also find vocalists and vocal works that, unfortunately, don't generally receive play on most Classical music stations. The playlists are very eclectic, reflecting the wide range of vocal styles these musicians have tackled.

Below are some of the African American vocalists and composers played on Afrocentric Voices:

  • Leslie Adams
  • Adele Addison
  • Donnie Ray Albert
  • Betty Allen
  • Odekhiren Amaize
  • Marian Anderson
  • Martina Arroyo
  • Carmen Balthrop
  • Kathleen Battle
  • Harolyn Blackwell
  • Gerald Blanchard
  • Jules Bledsoe
  • Edward Boatner
  • Margaret Bonds
  • Carol Brice
  • Anne Brown
  • Anthony Brown
  • Lawrence Brown
  • Uzee Brown
  • Grace Bumbry
  • Harry Thacker Burleigh
  • Nicole Cabell
  • Valerie Capers
  • John Carter
  • Florence Cole-Talbot
  • Will Marion Cook
  • Anthony Davis
  • Ellabelle Davis
  • William Dawson
  • R. Nathaniel Dett
  • Mattiwilda Dobbs
  • Todd Duncan
  • Simon Estes
  • Ruby Elzy
  • Denyce Graves
  • Reri Grist
  • Hilda Harris
  • Roland Hayes
  • Richard Heard
  • Barbara Hendricks
  • Moses Hogan
  • Charles Holland
  • LeVern Hutcherson
  • Betty Jackson King
  • Charles Lloyd, Jr.
  • Edward Matthews
  • Seth McCoy
  • Robert McFerrin
  • Leona Mitchell
  • Jessye Norman
  • John Payne
  • Willis Patterson
  • Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson
  • Eugene Perry
  • Herbert Perry
  • Julia Perry
  • Florence Price
  • Leontyne Price
  • Florence Quivar
  • Derek Lee Ragin
  • Paul Robeson
  • Faye Robinson
  • George Shirley
  • Evelyn Simpson-Curenton
  • Hale Smith
  • Muriel Smith
  • William Grant Still
  • Howard Swanson
  • Darryl Taylor
  • Ricky Taylor
  • Three Mo' Tenors
  • Edna Thomas
  • Frederick Tillis
  • Louise Toppin
  • Margaret Tynes
  • Shirley Verrett
  • Videmus
  • George Walker
  • William Warfield
  • Daniel Washington
  • Felicia Weathers
  • Wendell Whalum
  • Camilla Williams
  • Olly Wilson
  • Lawrence Winters
  • John W. Work, Jr.
  • Lauretta Young

I hope you enjoy the songs and the singers presented on Afrocentric Voices and will let me know your suggestions for newly released recordings or older recordings (including LPs--you'd be surprised what's available on sites like EBay) and your comments about the station.

BTW, if you are an African American vocalist or composer of vocal music with a commercially produced CD of classical music that you would like me to consider for presentation on this station, please send the CD to: Randye Jones, PO Box 281, Grinnell, IA 50112. I will be glad to consider its inclusion to my playlists.

Thanks for visiting Afrocentric Voices

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Broadcaster Comments

Afrocentric Voices Radio

Welcome to Afrocentric Voices Radio!

You will hear a range of Classical music often missed by traditional Classical music stations. There are recordings of vocal music by historical African American composers like William Grant Still and H. T. Burleigh and vocalists such as Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson. There are also performances of works by contemporary composers such as Anthony Davis and George Walker and singers Denyce Graves, Lawrence Brownlee, Florence Quivar and Darryl Taylor. And, of course, you will hear great vocalists, including Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Shirley Verrett, Grace Bumbry, Kathleen Battle and others who have achieved international success.

Whether operas, oratorios or art songs, whether accompanied by single instrument or large ensemble, the recordings share the common presence of the glorious solo voice.

Each day from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Central Time, you will hear selections focusing on a specific theme:

    Sunday - The Art of the Negro Spiritual
    The beauty of this American folk song performed in concert format

    Monday - Festival of Song
    Secular art songs by African American vocalists and composers

    Tuesday - Oh, Pioneers
    Vocalists who helped establish an African American presence in the world of classical music

    Wednesday - Present Company Accepted
    Vocalists from the later half of the 20th Century to today

    Thursday - Gentlemen’s Agreement
    From countertenor to bass, African American vocalists sing opera, art song and oratorio

    Friday - Big Hand for the Ladies
    From coloratura to contralto, African American vocalists sing opera, art song and oratorio

    Saturday - It Ain’t Art Song!
    Excerpts from opera, oratorio, requiems, and theater performed by African American classical vocalists

Sunday mornings are filled with Sacred Sounds from 8:00 until 11:00 a.m. CDT. African American vocalists lift up historical and contemporary Classical music from the Christian tradition.

If you have suggestions for a theme or recordings to feature, contact Randye Jones at

If you would like to donate a commercially produced classical recording featuring solo vocal music performed or composed by an African American, I would be happy to consider it for addition to the station's playlist. Please send donations to: PO Box 281, Grinnell, IA 50112.

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